Alterra Home Loans review
Options for unconventional borrowers, including those without an SSN.
Alterra Home Loans specializes in nontraditional and government-backed loans, and has resources for Spanish-speaking borrowers. But it doesn’t offer loan options to use your home equity, and it’s only available in 36 states.
What types of loans does Alterra Home Loans offer?
Alterra offers a variety of home loans – from conventional to government-backed options.
- Conventional loans. These loans are for buyers with good credit and savings, with straightforward, online underwriting.
- FHA loans. Insured by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Alterra’s FHA Low FICO accepts borrowers with a credit score as 550.
- VA loans. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) helps active service members, veterans and eligible surviving spouses get a home loan. If you qualify, you may need little to no down payment.
- USDA loan. Also known as the Rural Development Loan, this government-insured mortgage offers no money down and a fixed interest rate for certain regions.
- Jumbo loan. Jumbo loans are mortgages that exceed the standard loan limit set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In 2019, the loan maximum is $484,850 for most counties.
Other loans offered by Alterra Home Loans
On top of its major loan options, Alterra Home Loans also offers unconventional and ITIN loan products.
- Portfolio loans. This loan allows borrowers to provide proof of income without the typical requirements of conventional loans, such as bank statements.
- Non-warrantable condo loans. Loans for properties like timeshares and condotels are considered risky and don’t meet the guidelines set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These loans usually come with higher interest rates and require a larger down payment than conventional loans.
- ITIN Loan Products. These Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) home loans are for borrowers without a Social Security number, but have a tax ID number. You need a minimum 15% down payment, and it comes with higher interest rates and closing costs than conventional loans.
Alterra Home Loans fees
Alterra doesn’t break down its fees on its website. It estimates that besides your down payment, expect closing costs to be about 2% to 5% of the purchase price. Costs can include:
- Recording fees
- Loan origination fees
- Notary fees
- Title insurance
- Homeowners insurance
Requirements vary, depending on the loan you choose, your credit and financial situation. Alterra Home Loans recommends going through its prequalification process to find out which rates and terms you qualify for. It takes less than 15 minutes to prequalify, and then you can speak with a loan officer to discuss your options in person, by video or by email.
- Name and contact information
- Social Security number (not needed for ITIN loans)
- US government-issued ID, Matricula Consular ID or passport
- Proof of two years of employment in the same or similar line of work
- One year of tax returns
- List of assets, such as bank statements
- List of debts, such as credit card statements
How to get a home loan with Alterra Home Loans
To get a home loan with Alterra, it recommends speaking with a loan officer to determine which loan option is right for you. They’ll be your contact throughout the process, and it should take between 30 to 45 days.
- Here are the steps for Alterra Home Loans’ online application.
- Go to Alterra Home Loans’ website and click Apply now on its home page.
- Select whether you’re interested in purchasing a home or refinancing a mortgage.
- Choose a home description – for example: single-family, multifamily, condominium or townhouse.
- Fill in your first and last name as well as your credit score.
- Identify what you’ll use the property for – for example: primary residence, secondary vacation or rental/investment.
- Fill in the state and ZIP code.
- Detail your homebuyer profile – for example: if you’re a first-time homebuyer, where you are in the homebuying process, the estimated purchase price of the new home and your estimated down payment.
- Fill out your financial profile – for example: your employment status, any previous late mortgage payments, bankruptcy or foreclosure in the past three years, ability to show proof of income and your email address.
- Share your military status and if you are working with a real estate agent.
- Enter your phone number and submit your application. You should receive your Loan Estimate within three business days
Alterra Home Loans reviews and complaints
Alterra Home Loans doesn’t have reviews on Trustpilot, but it’s accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and holds an A+ rating. Several customers reported a smooth experience, closing on their home on time or earlier.
However, other customers experienced significant delays in closing. Alterra Home Loans addressed each closing delay on the BBB website – in one case, it even paid for a customer’s moving expenses caused by the delay.
Pros and cons of Alterra Home Loans
- ITIN loan products. Few lenders offer ITIN home loans. Borrowers can get a mortgage without traditional credit, US legal status or a Social Security number.
- Supports Spanish speakers. Alterra Home Loans has a Spanish version of its website and Spanish-speaking loan officers.
- Accepts nontraditional income. Alterra considers other income sources such as self-employment for nonconventional loans.
- Poor credit loans. The FHA Low FICO loan accepts credit as low as 550.
- Limited branch locations. Alterra is only licensed in 36 states and Washington, DC. And it only has branches in 20 states.
- No loans to tap into your equity. Alterra does not offer home equity loans, reverse mortgages or HELOCs (home equity line of credit).
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What is Alterra Home Loans?
Alterra Home Loans is a 100% Hispanic-owned mortgage company headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was founded in early 2007 and received equity investment from Panorama Point Partners in 2016. It now operates as a mortgage brand under the Panorama Mortgage Group.
Frequently asked questions
Kimberly Ellis is a writer at Finder. She hails from New York City with a BA from Queens College and a New York State teaching certificate. After teaching in both public and private schools, Kimberly decided to take the world by storm and dive into the media industry — where she covers everything from home loans and investing to K–12 education and shopping. She’s also an aspiring polyglot, always in a book and forever on the hunt for the perfect classic red lipstick.
Alterra Home Loans is best for borrowers that might not qualify for conventional loans. Its ITIN loan and FHA Low FICO options offer more flexibility in eligibility and documentation than traditional lenders. But Alterra is only available in 36 states, with branches in only 20.